SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, a beacon of hope for children facing hunger or illness, has unveiled a heartwarming milestone in its ongoing mission.

Thursday, the Foundation proudly announced a $25,000 grant allocated to Shriners Children’s New England, further illuminating the lives of kids in western Massachusetts. This contribution is part of the larger endeavor, as the Foundation orchestrates nationwide celebrations and allocates a staggering $1.6 million raised on Dunkin’s Iced Coffee Day to children’s hospitals. Through this endeavor, the Foundation solidifies its pledge to infuse the lives of young patients with the simple joys intrinsic to childhood.

Courtesy of Dunkin’

Shriners Children’s New England will channel this grant to enhance their ‘BFit’ Power-Based Exercise Program, a vital initiative catering to patients afflicted with neuromuscular conditions, such as Cerebral Palsy. The grant empowers patients to closely collaborate with local physical therapy and exercise science students hailing from neighboring colleges.

This unique partnership facilitates patients’ engagement in exercises meticulously designed to accelerate their walking pace, improve the quality of their movements, and cultivate an active lifestyle within their home environments. A longstanding beneficiary of the Joy in Childhood Foundation, Shriners Children’s New England has received close to $100,000 in support since 2017.

The granted funds fuel a diverse array of child life programming, spanning art, music, and integrated therapies such as yoga and reiki. Additionally, these funds facilitate the provision of electronic gaming equipment and facilitate specialized summer camps, offering patients and their families moments of pure joy and respite. The financial support further extends to interactive play and learning equipment, adaptive tools tailored for kids with mobility challenges, essential kits catering to the everyday needs of patients, vibrant wall murals, celebratory events marking patient milestones, and the indispensable staffing of child life specialists, among a spectrum of other vital initiatives.

Peter Martins, a dedicated Dunkin’ franchisee, articulated the collective sentiment, remarking, “Children grappling with illness often miss out on the simple joys that define childhood. Our franchisees and guests have joined forces to bridge this gap for young patients across the nation.” Martins added, “I am profoundly proud of being part of a franchise community that harbors an unwavering commitment to the communities we serve. This collective dedication empowers us to enrich the lives of children at Shriners Children’s New England by fortifying their child life programs, even on their toughest days.”

At its core, these heartwarming grants embody the unwavering dedication of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, Dunkin’, and its committed franchisees to kindle the sparks of happiness in the lives of children facing adversities. Since its opening in 2006, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation has ceaselessly channeled over $45 million to both national and local nonprofit organizations, embodying the spirit of compassion and altruism.

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